We left the restaurant dock a little after 7:00 this morning and headed North on the ICW. We had to wait at several bridges again today, and that, coupled with dodging a storm and mistaking a secondary channel for the ICW, caused us to not make the mileage we had planned for. Over the last few years we've learned that planning and slow boats don't mix very well, and today was a good example of why.
It rained most of the day, but it was mostly a light rain. We travelled or planned 65 miles today, but about 15 miles of that total was due to the storm and our wrong turn. It was still a great day, though!!
I'm questioning my decision to leave the mast on the boat for the trip home. If I'd had it removed, we could clear most of the bascule bridges simply by lowering the radio antennas. But with a mast standing about 30' off the waterline, we have to wait for the operators to open them. So far, there has not been a single one that had 30' of clearance when closed. Some of them open anytime on request, but most only open every 20 or 30 minutes, and we seem to always arrive just AFTER it has opened.
Today had it pros and cons, just like everyday I suppose. We lost an hour or so waiting for a storm that never came. We went the wrong way on what we thought was the ICW and ended up at a fixed bridge that was way to low for us. We back tracked again but lost more time. During that time I saw a bull shark that looked about 10 ft long swimming along on the top of the water. (I'm been told water magnifies things, but he was BIG) We also saw lots of dolphin and interesting water birds. Because it rained all day the weather stayed cooler and I even had time for a nap. We had a coast guard ship slow down and wave nicely to us. We saw a very interesting looking tug in Tampa bay. Bad news we were gonna stay at the Dunedin city marina but they closed at 5 and we didn't arrive until 6. So we are anchored out.